When a couple of armed men stormed into a Washington state dispensary on Sunday night, they had no idea that the store manager was watching the whole raucous scene unfold from a security monitor inside his house, giving him just enough time to get the police to the scene before the crooks made a getaway with the cash.
A report from KIRO-7 indicates that employees at the Have a Heart pot shop located in the northern part of Seattle were preparing to close down operations for the day when two masked men forced their way into the store waving their guns around.
The surveillance footage, which was captured at around 10:20pm, shows the culprits pushing the store’s security guard through the door before bringing a female employee to her knees with a gun to the head. Once inside, the alleged crooks are said to have tied the guard and two other employees up on the floor, while using a dose of pistol persuasion to get them to cough up the code to the safe.
“Our security protocol is a staged exit, where security goes and does a perimeter check and lets the people inside know that it’s safe to exit,” Damon Martinez, manager of Have a Heart, told Leafly. “On that perimeter check, he was grabbed by two guys with a gun in his back and told to go back in. He tried to tell the staff what was happening — It’s a robbery, don’t open – but they forced the door open.”
By all accounts, it almost seemed the two robbers had staged the perfect heist. But unfortunately for them, they failed to consider that Martinez was watching the entire rotten invasion from the security feed in his home. So while they were busy emptying the safe, he was on the phone to the Seattle Police, who were promptly on the scene, within minutes, waiting to capture the potential robbers as soon as they emerged from the dispensary.
“I did a play-by-play for them on which rooms they were in and when they were exiting, so [officers] could be prepared to make arrests when it happened,” Martinez said of his call to Seattle PD. “We coordinated, and they turned off all the lights and the guys walked right into their damn hands.”
Reports show the two men responsible for the robbery, ages 36 and 47, were taken to the King County Jail for further investigation.
Although the latest incident at Have a Heart comes with a happy ending, as there were no injuries to any of the employees, the fact that dispensaries all across the nation are being forced to operate on a cash-only basis means that this will certainly not be the last time cannabis workers are threatened and or killed by common criminals.
Unfortunately, federal lawmakers continue to turn a blind eye to the concept of establishing policies that allow the banking industry to work with marijuana businesses without catching any heat. Earlier this year, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives snuffed out a proposed amendment that would have prevented the Feds from targeting banks that establish business relationships with the cannabis industry.
Since marijuana remains illegal in the eyes of the federal government, none of the larger financial institutions and credit card companies will have anything to do with pot-related commerce for fear of being shutdown and prosecuted for money laundering. But by not allowing these types of deals to take place, it puts dispensaries, like Have a Heart, in a position of having large sums of cash on the premises at all times, which, of course, puts everyone involved at a high risk for violence.